Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt: My 10 Favorite Metal Albums

Bandleader shouts out classics including Judas Priest's 'Sad Wings of Destiny' and Morbid Angel's 'Altars of Madness'

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Entombed, 'Left Hand Path' (1990)

7. Entombed, 'Left Hand Path' (1990)

It made me so proud when that record came out. I'd been a fan of the band Nihilist, which was the band name before they changed it to Entombed. Because I think there was a U.S. band called Nihilist, that put out like a promo record or something like that ... so they changed their name to Entombed. That was phenomenal. The cassette demo that I bought when it came out, it had, like, three songs on there and it had that sound, which was like, "Fuckin' hell, what's this?" It was the most brutal, heavy guitar sound I'd ever heard in my life. 

And I was waiting for [Left Hand Path] to come out. On the release date, I was hanging outside the local shop, House of Kicks Records, on the day it was released and bought it right away. And I think it might have actually been the same day that Morbid Angel did their signing for Altars of Madness, actually. So I got my Altars of Madness copy signed by Morbid Angel, and as well, I got the new Entombed record, on the same day. So it was a good death-metal day. 

But that record, again, it's like what it says on the sticker; it says "crushing guitars." And that's really what it is. That record just spawned a lot of bands from Sweden that tried to emulate what they were doing on that record. Like the riffs are a bit kind of rock & roll–y to a certain extent. They're a bit more bluesy you could say, even. But with that guitar pedal, which was a Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal – which I had, and I thought it sounded like shit. ... It just made everything sound like if you were walking through wet snow. [Imitates staticky sound]

It came out pretty close to the Altars of Madness record, and those two records became two of my absolute favorite death-metal records of all time and still are. And I was immensely proud of Entombed because they were not only from Sweden, but also from my hometown of Stockholm and from the southern suburbs, just like me. So when I saw them around town when I was out walking, I was like "Fuckin' hell." It's like seeing fucking Michael Bolton. They became my idols, you know, and to this day, they still are. When I meet them, I'm like, "Oh, the guys from Entombed." And I'm still a little bit starstruck when I meet those guys.

It's just a phenomenal death-metal record. And touching upon what I said earlier, I'm looking for something unique and something like an identity of their own. They really had that, and it was just very inspirational and influential to find yet another band that had a sound that was completely their own type of sound. But like I said, there were so many bands that tried to copy what they did: They bought the same guitars, the same pedals, recorded in the same studio, they wrote their songs in similar ways. I think Entombed were basically kind of leading the way for Scandinavian death metal in those days, and for a few years on, actually. And that all started with this record. 

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